North Wales is admired for heaps of things â€“ from our 3,560 ft peak, the spectacular scenery of Snowdonia and the sandy beaches of our coast, to our charming seaside resorts and impressive medieval coastal castles.
Itâ€™s true, we proudly celebrate our sea, our history, and our mountains. After all, they help to draw in thousands of visitors from around the world every year. But thereâ€™s one aspect of North Wales which deserves more praise â€“ our treasure trove of truly world-class gardens.
Thatâ€™s why the North Wales Festival of Gardens is back for its third year this spring. Taking place over sixteen glorious days â€“ from Saturday 2nd June to Sunday 17th June â€“ our stunning collection of gardens will transform into a bustling festival of events and activities.
Plants from all four corners
Itâ€™s a chance to show off the incredible variety of stunning and historic gardens present in the region. Some of our gardens are almost a reservoir of exotic plant species. Take Bodnant Gardens, for instance.
Plant-hunter Ernest Wilson travelled to China and brought exotic magnolias, rhododendrons other a multitude of new speed species, from which he furnished the gardens with.
And thanks to our Westerly climates, the plants flourished. Our frosts are mild and droughts are short, not to mention the warmth and moisture of the Gulf Stream, which is a huge benefit for these tropical plant species. A number of our gardens have plants which are rarely seen anywhere else in Britain, with blooming plants from countries as far away as Chile, New Zealand and Japan.
Itâ€™s true, our gardens are home to plants from all corners of the globe. â€œNow you can explore the world without leaving Wales,â€� said a National Trust spokesman, â€œCollected by intrepid plant hunters from as far back as 300 years ago, the plant life in National Trust Wales gardens stands as a testament to the vision and dedication shared by generations of owners and gardens.â€�
A festival of flower power
North Wales has some of the most beautiful gardens in the UK, many of which are open all year round, but spring is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to visit. The dates coincide with magical late-spring flowering displays, including flowering cherries, azaleas, magnolias, tulips, and rhododendrons.
And the festival, which is supported by the Welsh Government and organised by North Wales Tourism, has a packed programme of events in store. Expect everything from behind the scenes guided tours with garden owners and head gardeners, garden picnics and workshops, to photography competitions, squirrel watching, musical performances and heaps more.
Over 20 gardens will take part in the event, spanning from Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd, all the way over to Denbighshire and Wrexham.
Peter Gibbs, who was a BBC national TV weatherman until last year, says the event will also shine a light on some of the hidden gems of the British garden world. He said: â€œA lot of people, including gardeners, donâ€™t realise how many different gardens there are in North Wales.
â€œApart from the large, well known National Trust ones there are also lots of fantastic smaller gardens and without this sort of festival they wouldnâ€™t get noticed by the kind of people who would really enjoy them.â€�
So why not come along to the North Wales Festival of Gardens 2018 â€“ our lush, blooming wonderland of vibrant spring gardens? Weâ€™ll see you there! For more information, visit the eventâ€™s website.